Are you rarely ever satisfied with yourself, no matter what you do?
Does your sense of self-worth revolve largely around what you can accomplish?
Do you feel hounded by a constant fear of failure, leaving you unable to relax?
Maybe other people think you have it all together—you’re the go-to in your friend group for problem-solving and relationship issues.
Maybe you’re also the go-to in your family because you’re seen as the responsible and mature one. But as confident and put-together as you seem on the outside, you are never satisfied.
Nothing impresses you, not even your own achievements. Deep down, you probably wish there was someone who knew how you felt about yourself. But because of how high-functioning you are, most people don’t know that you’re hurting inside.
It’s not always easy to know if you struggle with self-esteem. You may tell yourself: The problem in my life is that I just can’t achieve my goals or have the relationships I want. But if your happiness is dependent on what you can accomplish, there’s a good chance that you suffer from low self-worth.
Besides, if you’re used to overworking yourself by trying to get ahead in life, you may not leave room for dealing with your emotions. And if you’re not in-tune with your emotions, it’s hard to know how you feel about yourself to begin with.
In counseling, you have a chance to get in touch with your feelings and learn about how low self-esteem impacts your mental health. With my compassionate support, I am confident that you will learn to connect with yourself on a deeper level and come to love yourself in a new way.
Most people don’t talk about self-esteem issues, but they are incredibly common. Research shows that women tend to struggle with low self-esteem more than men. Believe it or not, low self-esteem is especially common among high-achieving, perfectionist women with type-A personalities. Because their sense of self-acceptance is based on what they accomplish, these women feel like failures when they don’t achieve their goals.
Unfortunately, the more high-achieving someone is, the less likely other people are to think that they have self-esteem issues. As a result, those with low self-esteem are often profoundly lonely. Because no one expects them to feel bad about themselves, no one knows that they’re struggling.
The ultimate question is why so many people—both women and men—only feel good about themselves when they accomplish professional, financial or material success. The answer has to do with the way that they are raised.
Most children only receive praise or approval when they do something good or responsible. They are rarely, if ever, rewarded for just being themselves. When validation is only linked to performance and behavior, people learn to judge themselves based on their outcomes rather than their presence. Thus, the need to “do more” and “be more” that begins in early childhood continues on into adulthood.
To break out of this unhealthy cycle, it’s essential to seek help. Therapy for low self-esteem is an opportunity to step back from the need to succeed and learn how to love yourself just as you are.
If your measure of success is based on your career, finances or relationships, you may think self-esteem is not an issue for you—instead, the problem is that you can’t achieve what you want. But this raises a greater question: why do you only feel good about yourself if you achieve more?
In therapy, you and I will explore this question together. This is a chance to silence the noise in your life and be present with your feelings. Counseling is more about being than doing. Rather than working harder or adding new responsibilities, I want you to figure out who you are outside of your accomplishments. When you take away all the hard work you’ve done, what does your personality look like?
The first step to building self-esteem is knowing yourself: identifying what you like, what you want out of life and what past experiences have shaped the person you are today. All of this may sound very elementary, but as we work together, I am confident that you will find the process eye-opening. We will make connections between the messages you received as a child and the internal messages you tell yourself today.
For instance, maybe your parents only complimented you when you worked hard for something. Over time, perhaps you wound up overworking yourself to win their approval. In this case, the message you internalized was that you didn’t matter unless you worked hard.
In self-esteem therapy, we will look at the messages feeding your negative feelings. Moreover, we will adjust and replace these messages with thoughts and beliefs that are positive and empowering. The goal is for you to develop a sense of self that is strong and resilient enough to stand on its own, without any need for external success.
Self-esteem counseling isn’t just about exploring your thoughts—it’s also a chance to actively practice self-care. I want to help you value and care for your mind and body in daily life. What that looks like depends on what works best for you. Maybe you would benefit from a meditation routine, more regular exercise, or a healthier diet. Taking care of yourself in little ways can be the first stepping stone to reclaiming physical and emotional confidence.
The truth is that improving your self-esteem does not require massive lifestyle changes. You don’t need to overwork yourself. By making small adjustments in the way you treat yourself and replacing negative beliefs with positive ones, you can shift the way you see yourself and live with more self-confidence. Most importantly, you can learn to love and accept yourself as you are.
Low self-esteem is common among people who are successful and have a fulfilling social life. The condition affects people regardless of what they’ve accomplished or how many friends they have. That’s why one of my first goals will be to help you separate your self-esteem issues from your successes and failures. I want you to see yourself as you are apart from external measures of accomplishment.
You may feel that there are more pressing issues in your life than low self-esteem and you may be right. But if you have a negative view of yourself, that impacts your relationships, your career and every area of your life. Addressing low self-esteem is a way to treat every area of your life at once.
You may be a giver and a nurturer, and that’s a great thing! It shows that other people feel safe and protected around you. Nonetheless, all of us have blind spots—we are generally quicker to notice what’s wrong in other people’s lives than our own. This is why it’s easier to help others than it is to help ourselves. In self-esteem counseling, you have a chance to learn how to help yourself, addressing your needs, your fears and your hopes and dreams.
If you want to boost your confidence and improve your sense of self-love, I believe that my approach to counseling is right for you.